TWO CASES of a new pathogen that could seriously affect trees have been found in native English Oak trees in a wood near Redruth in Cornwall.

The fungal disease Phytophthora kernovii – which is a more virulent form of Sudden Oak Death or Phytophthora ramorum – has been found for the first time in native oak trees.

The new pathogen was first discovered in the wood in Cornwall earlier this year when it was found on rhododendron plants and a beech tree.

But the latest discovery raises fears over the pathogen’s potential impact on Britain’s 200m oak trees, as well as other native tree species.

If anyone suspects the presence of the disease on plants they should contact their local DEFRA or SEERAD office.

If the disease is suspected on trees the contact should be the Forestry Commission.